The environmentalists say that global warming is melting the polar ice caps, and that the Earth’s coastal regions will be flooded in a matter of years. And whether or not you believe that the current rising temperatures are a sign of human involvement, it’s clear that the melting ice is uncovering some rather interesting things that have remained hidden for some time.
Take for instance the unnerving discovery that a couple of ski lift engineers found in the Swiss Alps earlier this year…
In the Swiss Alps, near the village of Chandolin, is a veritable mountaintop vacation hotspot or coldspot, if you want to be literal. In recent years, a slew of trendy ski resorts has popped up in the area, most at about 8,500 feet above sea level.
The Swiss Alps are a haven for ski enthusiasts and hikers. It was in one of these ski resorts, close to the Swiss mountain village of Valais, that a routine repair on a ski lift ended up being the catalyst for a discovery that had waited nearly a century to be unearthed….
Cable car company Glacier 3000 is well-known in the region for providing expert installation and routine maintenance on dozens of ski lifts in the surrounding area. The engineer in question was working on the Valais lift, when he noticed something that looked like oddly-shaped rocks, jutting out from the snow.
The engineers noticed some strange trinkets emerging from the melting snows. Several ancient boots had appeared, as did a tarnished pocket watch, a rotting book, and an intact but dusty glass bottle. As one of the engineers leaned closer to get a better look, something else became visible in the snow…
Amidst the boots and books were scattered packs, clothing, and hiking supplies: all of which looked as though they were from the 1920s or 1930s. As the engineers began to pull the relics from the snow, they came upon a most unwelcome sight, sunken beneath the first layer of frost.
Lying Next to Each Other
What the engineers had found were the bodies of two people. They were clad in clothing that looked more at home in the World War Two era than anywhere else and it appeared that they had been there for a very long time. Yet they had been remarkably well-preserved by the ice and the engineers could tell that they were a man and a woman…
“They were perfectly preserved in the glacier and their belongings were intact,” explained Bernhard Tschannen, director of Glacier 3000. But the question of who they were and how they’d come to be in that particular mountain pass still remained to be discovered…
Looking at old records of missing hikers, the authorities determined that that the two discovered bodies might have belonged to Marcelin Dumoulin, a 40-year-old shoemaker, and his wife Francine, a 37-year-old school teacher. Though they didn’t have any concrete evidence, the story of this missing couple seemed to fit…
The Dumoulins went missing on August 15, 1942. They had left their family home near Valais to head out into the meadow to tend to their cattle. Francine almost never accompanied her husband on these tasks, but decided to leave their children at home that day. After all, it would only take a few hours.
Monique Gautschy-Dumoulin, one of the elder daughters, remembered how happy her father was when he left that day. It was a bright, sunny day and he was singing as he and her mother made their way into the hills. Neither she nor her father would have ever guessed that such a lovely day would lead to such a dreadful night…
But what had started as a mundane trip to milk some cows, turned into an evening of uncertainty for their seven children. The children waited at home the whole night, praying that their parents would return to them safe and sound come morning. Sadly, they never made it back home…
Left in Charge
Her parents’ disappearance left Monique and her other older siblings to care for their younger brothers and sisters. Over the next seven decades, the Dumoulin children would wonder whatever became of their brave and dedicated parents on that fateful afternoon. That is, until 2017…
Met Their End
As near as the experts could tell, Marcelin and Francine must have hit a rough patch of mountain on their way up to check the cows. It’s likely that the two fell into a crevasse and died due to blunt force trauma either from the fall or on the way down. And there they stayed, for decades.
As time went on and the glacier above the hills receded, the frozen bodies began to re-emerge from their icy tomb. The years had preserved the happy couple enough that it might be possible to determine if they truly are the missing Dumoilins. It seemed that the children, who had waited so long to know, might finally get some solace…
“It was the first time my mother went with him on such an excursion.” explained Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, the couple’s youngest daughter. She went on to explain that her mother, who of course had seven children, was always too pregnant to make the difficult climb up the glacier to where their cattle stayed.
Unfortunately, the Dumoulin children weren’t on their own for long, and were separated just a few months later: Marceline was only 4 years old. But the now 79-year-old woman says that sh she and her siblings spent their whole lives looking for them. Now, after 75 years of waiting, they might have their answer, especially with modern DNA testing…
The Swiss police haven’t given an exact date, but have stated that DNA testing will be done to confirm the true identities of the two frozen bodies. Still, the family is convinced that DNA aside, these are the bodies of their long lost parents, and that now they can finally be put to rest.
The bodies of Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, were buried on following a ceremony in southwestern Switzerland. Though many of their children have long since passed, the funeral service seemed to offer the remaining children and grandchildren some much-needed closure. And the bodies of the Dumoulins weren’t the only ones discovered in recent years…
More and More Findings
Global warming has contributed greatly to the overall shrinking of glaciers in recent years and as more and more of these glaciers begin to melt, we’re very likely to see more and more “lost” souls come emerging from their secluded frosty tombs in the coming decades.
Indeed, just last September, the remains of two Japanese climbers that had been missing since 1970 were found on the Matterhorn in a similar glacier. At the time, the police made a similar statement, explaining that they’ve found several climbers bodies over the last couple decades already.